Clan Donald

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Clan Donald
Crest badge
Clan member crest badge - Clan Macdonald.svg
Profile
Region Hieland an Islands
Destrict Inverness-shire
Plant badge Common heath
Chief

Arms of Macdonald of Macdonald.svg
Godfrey James Macdonald o Macdonald
The 8t Baron Macdonald, Chief o the Name an Airms o Macdonald, Heich Chief o Clan Donald an 34t hereditary Chief o Clan Donald.

Clan Donald is ane o the lairgest Scots clans. There are numerous brainches tae the clan. Several o these hae chiefs recognised bi the Lord Lyon King of Arms; these are: Clan Macdonald o Sleat, Clan Macdonald o Clanranald, Clan MacDonell o Glengarry, Clan MacDonald o Keppoch, an Clan MacAlister. Notable brainches without chiefs so-recognised ar: the MacDonalds o Dunnyveg, MacDonalds o Lochalsh, the MacDonalds o Glencoe, an the MacDonalds o Ardnamurchan. The MacDonnells o Antrim dae no belang tae the Scots associations an hae a chief offeecially recognised in Ireland.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Oreegins[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Norse-Gaelic Clan Donald traces its descent frae Dòmhnall Mac Raghnuill (d. circa 1250), whose faither Reginald or Ranald wis styled "Keeng o the Isles" an "Laird o Argyll an Kintyre". Ranald's faither, Somerled wis styled "Keeng o the Hebrides", an wis killed campaignin against Malcolm IV o Scotland at the Battle o Renfrew in 1164. Clan Donald shares a descent frae Somerled wi Clan MacDougall, who trace their lineage frae his elder son, Dugall mac Somhairle. Their dynasties are thegither commonly referred tae as the Clann Somhairle. Furthermair they are descendit maternally frae baith the infamous House o Ivar an the Earls o Orkney, through Somerled's wife Ragnhildis Ólafsdóttir, dochter o Olaf I Godredsson, Keeng o Mann an the Isles an Ingeborg Haakonsdottir dochter o Haakon Paulsson, Earl o Orkney. It is possible that Somerled wis a male line descendant o Echmarcach mac Ragnaill an Ivar o Waterford.

Gaelic tradition gave Somerled a Celtic descent in the male line, as the medieval Seanachies traced his lineage through a lang line o ancestors back tae Colla Uais an Conn o the Hunder Battles. Thus Clan Donald claimed tae be baith Clann Cholla an Siol Chuinn (Childer o Colla an Seed o Conn). Possibly the auldest piece o poetry attributit tae the MacDonalds is a brosnachadh (an incitement tae battle) which wis said tae hae been written in 1411, on the day o the Battle o Harlaw. The first lines o the poem begin "A Chlanna Cuinn cuimhnichibh / Cruas an àm na h-iorghaile," (Ye children of Conn remember hardihood in the time of battle). A later poem made tae John o Islay (1434–1503), last o the MacDonald Lords o the Isles, proclaims "Ceannas Ghàidheal do Chlainn Cholla, còir fhògradh," (The Heidship o the Gael tae the family o Colla, it is richt tae proclaim it), givin MacDonald's genealogy back tae Colla Uais.

Housomeivver a recent DNA study haes shown that Somerled mey hae been o Norse descent in his male line. Bi testin the Y-DNA o males bearin the surnames MacDonald, MacDougall, MacAlister, an their variants it wis foond that a substantial proportion o men testit shared the same Y-DNA an a direct paternal ancestor. This distinct Y-chromosome R1a1 haplotype foond in Scotland haes been regardit as aften showin Norse descent in the Breetish Isles. Accordin tae the Clan Donald USA DNA Project aboot 22% o testit participants hae this signature, but despite the sensational claims it remains far frae proven that Somerled hissel wis o paternal Norse ancestry. A non-paternity event remains a possible cause.


Scots-Norse War[eedit | eedit soorce]

The MacDonalds haed aaways supportit Norawa. Housomeivver, this alliance brak when the Norsemen wur defeatit at the Battle o Lairgs in 1263 bi Scots forces. Norawa's Keeng Haakon wis defeatit an his fleet wis wrecked bi the skilled manoeuvres o Keeng Alexander III o Scotland and the Clan MacDougall. Three years later, the Norsemen submittit their last islands tae the Scots croun. Aonghas Mòr, the son o Dòmhnall, then made peace wi Keeng Alexander III o Scotland.

Wars o Scots Unthirldom[eedit | eedit soorce]

The MacDonalds fought wi Robert the Bruce at the Battle o Bannockburn in 1314. It wis Donald's great grandson, Angus Og o Islay who wis the 6t Laird o the Isles who sheltered Keeng Robert the Bruce. Angus led a sma baund o Islesmen at the Battle o Bannockburn. In recognition o Clan Donalds support King Robert the Bruce proclaimed that Clan Donald wad aaways occupy the honored position on the richt wing o the Scots airmy.

First Laird o the Isles[eedit | eedit soorce]

The clan takes its name 'Donald' frae the name o the 1st Laird o the Isles who wis the grandson o Keeng Somerled who lived till 1269. Donald's son wis the oreeginal 'Mac' which means 'son o'. It was Donald's great grandson, Angus Og who wis the 6t Laird o the Isles who sheltered Keeng Robert the Bruce. In recognition o Clan Donalds support Keeng Robert the Bruce proclaimed that Clan Donald wad aaways occupy the honored position on the richt wing o the Scots airmy.

15t century[eedit | eedit soorce]

Earldom o Ross

The title an territory o the Earl o Ross haed oreeginally been held bi the Chief o Clan Ross. Housomeivver Angas Og's grandson, Dòmhnall o Islay, Laird o the Isles marrit the first female heiress o the Earl o Ross. He later successfully claimed the position o Earl o Ross through marriage. This wis secured bi the Battle o Harlaw on 24 Julie 1411 whaur maist o the hieland clans supportit Donald in preventin the Duke o Albany an his airmy o Scots Lawlanders frae claimin the position for hissel. Housomeivver bi 1415 the Earldom o Ross wis lost as Murdoch Stewart, Duke o Albany haed seized Dingwall Castle an Easter Ross. Dòmhnall prepared for war an proclaimed hissel "Lord o Ross". Although Albany appointit his awn son John Stewart, 2nt Earl o Buchan as the new Earl o Ross. Housomeivver, later the MacDonald chiefs wad again become the Earls o Ross, firstly Alexander o Islay, Earl o Ross an then his son John o Islay, Earl o Ross who surrendered the earldom in 1476 tae James Stewart, Duke o Ross.

16t century[eedit | eedit soorce]

MacDonald o the Isles (MakDonnald of ye Ylis) tartan, as published in the Vestiarium Scoticum in 1842.

The position o Laird o the Isles which the MacDonald chief haed held syne the 13t century haed been revoked in 1495. Housomeivver the MacDonalds remained a pouerful clan an retained muckle o their lands till muckle violence brak oot in the middle o the 16t century.

17t Century an the Ceevil War[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Massacre o Glencoe, 1692, 38 unairmed MacDonalds frae the Clan MacDonald o Glencoe wur murthered in the Massacre o Glencoe when an initiative tae suppress Jacobitism wis entangled in the lang runnin feud atween Clan MacDonald an Clan Campbell. The slaughter o the host MacDonalds at the haunds o their Campbell guests wis a major affront tae Scots Law an Hieland tradition.

18t century[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Durin the Jacobite risins o 1715 the Breetish Govrenment forces, including some units drawn frae Clan Campbell fought against the Jacobite rebels, made up, amangst ithers, o the men o Clan Donald who wur unner MacDonald of Keppoch an the Clan Macdonald o Clanranald whose chief wis killed. Housomeivver there wur in fact some Campbells who teuk the Jacobites' side, led bi the son o Campbell o Glenlyon whose faither haed commandit the govrenment troops at the Massacre o Glencoe 22 years earlier. The twa young men buried the hatchet an swore tae be brithers in airms, fechtin side bi side in the Battle o Sheriffmuir. The Breetish forces defeatit the Jacobites.
  • The Clan MacDonald o Sleat branch did no take pairt in the Jacobite Uprisins therefore the Sleat possessions remained intact.

Clan profile[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Clan chief: Godfrey James Macdonald o Macdonald, 8t Lord Macdonald, Chief o the Name an Arms o Macdonald, Heich Chief o Clan Donald an 34t hereditary Chief o Clan Donald.
  • Chiefly airms: The coat o airms o the current chief is blazoned: Quarterly, 1st, argent, a lion rampant gules, airmed an langued azure; 2nt; Or, a hand in armour fessways holding a cross-crosslet fitchee gules; 3rd, Or, a lymphad sails furled an oars in action sable, Flagged gules; 4t, vert, a salmon naiant in fess proper, ower aw on an escutcheon en surtout, Or, an eagle displayed gules surmuntit o a lymphad sails furled, oars in action sable (as Chief o the Name an Arms o Macdonald). Abuin the shield is placed his lairdship’s coronet, thereon an helmet befittin his degree wi a mantlin gules doubled ermine, an on a crest coronet Or is set for crest a haund in airmour fessways couped at the elbow proper hauldin a cross-crosslet fitchee gules, an in an escrol ower the same this motto 'per mare per terras', an on a compartment o rocks an heather proper issuant frae the waves undy alang wi this motto 'fraoch eilean', are set for supporters twa leopards proper.
  • Clan member's crest badge: The crest badge suitable for members o the clan contains the chief's heraldic crest an motto. The crest is: On a crest coronet Or, a haund in airmour fessways couped at the elbow proper hauldin a cross crosslet fitchée gules.
  • Clan badge: The clan badge or plant badge attributit tae the clan is common heath. This plant is attributit tae the ither Macdonald clans an some ither associatit clans such as Clan MacIntyre an the Macqueens o Skye.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Clan Donald - List of Family Names, Branches and Septs
  2. "History of the House and Clan of MacKay" (1829) by Robert MacKay, p.53 - 54, quoting from the "Genealogical History of the Earldom of Sutherland" by Dir Robert Gordon (1580 to 1656).
  3. The Battle of Split Allegiances@Clan Cameron.org
  4. Conflicts of the Clans Battle of Blar-na-Pairc@Electric Scotland
  5. "The Clan Ranald". 
  6. Notes
  7. MacRuarie – McCreary
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 ’Conflicts of the Clans’ published in 1764 by the Foulis press, written from a manuscript wrote in the reign of James VI of Scotland. [1]
  9. Donald Gregory's History of the Western Highlands and Isles of Scotland from A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1625.
  10. Clan MacLeod@Electric Scotland.com
  11. Roberts, John Leonard (1999). Feuds, Forays and Rebellions: History of the Highland Clans, 1475-1625. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 140–1. ISBN 9780748662449. 
  12. Royle, Trevor (2004). Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660. London: Abacus. ISBN 0-349-11564-8.  p.143
  13. The Carolingian Era, macdonnellofleinster.org. Retrieved 28 August 2008

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]